Since March 2020, the RECOVERY Trial has discovered three effective treatments for COVID-19: the inexpensive steroid dexamethasone; the arthritis drug tocilizumab; and a monoclonal antibody treatment, now known as Ronapreve. However, as the pandemic continues to affect both high and lower income countries, and with the constant threat of new coronavirus variants, treatments are needed that are suitable for a wide range of patients and healthcare systems. Consequently, RECOVERY International was launched in February 2021.
Professor Sir Peter Horby, Joint Chief Investigator of RECOVERY, said: ‘I am thrilled to welcome Ghana to the RECOVERY endeavour to improve the care of patients with severe COVID-19. COVID-19 affects everyone, and we need treatments for everyone, wherever they are and whatever level of healthcare is available to them.’
In Ghana, RECOVERY will initially focus on whether using a higher dose of the anti-inflammatory treatment dexamethasone has an even greater effect than the standard doses of the drug previously shown to save lives by the RECOVERY trial. It is likely that empagliflozin, a routine treatment for type 2 diabetes, will also be added to the study in Ghana soon.
The first Ghanaian hospitals taking part in RECOVERY are the Ghana Infectious Disease Centre, Accra, and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. The study will be open to all hospital patients admitted with confirmed COVID-19. All participants will receive the usual care; some will additionally receive one of the treatments being investigated.
The expansion of RECOVERY International to Ghana is a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR).